Over 35 members and associates of the Bakersfield West Side Crips were arrested yesterday on federal and state charges including burglary, illegal gun possession, drug sales, and murder. The arrests are a result of a 10-month investigation that began in March 2017 and involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Bakersfield Police Department.
According to authorities the West Side Crips committed a long list of crimes including weapons violations, unlawful possession of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, money laundering, methamphetamine sales, crack cocaine sales, opiate sales, attempted murder and murder.
West Side Crips gangsters even had a plan to shoot into a crowd of approximately 200 people, including rival gang members, at a local park in early October 2017. Their plan was thwarted by law enforcement as a result of this investigation.
“Violent gangs threaten the safety and well-being of entire communities, blighting the neighborhoods they dwell in and placing lives of innocent bystanders at risk, “said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify, disrupt, and dismantle gangs to protect the public. We also rely on our community relationships in the effort to remove violent gangs from neighborhoods to ensure our region and families have an opportunity to thrive.”
“This violent gang has killed innocent people and escalated violence in our Bakersfield neighborhoods,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “[This] successful takedown shows that when local, state and federal law enforcement authorities work together to combat violence, we can improve our communities. We are committed to making our neighborhoods safer by prosecuting street gangs to the fullest extent of the law.”
The federal defendants – all residents of Bakersfield - are as follows:
- Tommie Thomas, 35, distribution of methamphetamine;
- William Thomas, 35, distribution of crack cocaine;
- Danny Willis, 33, felon in possession of a firearm;
- Gary Pierson, 36, felon in possession of a firearm;
- Ladaireus Jones, 24, felon in possession of a firearm;
- Bernard Warren, 18, felon in possession of a firearm;
- Manuel Cruz III, 37, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana;
- Luis Fernandez, 26, distribution of methamphetamine;
- Myron Dewberry, 44, felon in possession of a firearm;
- Bryshanique Allen, 21, money laundering.
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